Kaulig Racing All Smiles for Josh Williams’ First Top 10 With Team

By: Zach Catanzareti, Staff Writer

Josh Williams joining Kaulig Racing was hailed as one of the most anticipated moves of the 2023-24 Xfinity Series silly season.

And as of the last week, that move has been gaining traction.

Coming off his best finish of 2024 last week, a 12th at Richmond, Williams rolled into Martinsville Speedway Saturday and did two spots better, this time scoring a top 10 following a wild late-race restart.

“Martinsville restarts at the end of the race are always wild,” Williams told Kickin’ The Tires. “We put ourselves in a good position. I hurt us throughout the race, a little misinformation on trying to get our car better.

“I am super excited about a top 10 here. We got real good momentum.”

The result is Williams’ 12th career top-10 finish in his 193rd series start. He will also race Sunday at Martinsville in his second Cup start for Kaulig.

Despite the smiles and newly found momentum, 2024 has been a tricky start for the veteran, who joined Kaulig after eight years of running with smaller teams. With four finishes worse than 25th, Williams chalks it up to luck more than anything.

“It’s just a product of needing luck,” he said. “And our luck started at Richmond and it carried on through here. Kaulig brings really fast racecars and I just got to do my job inside the car to get these good finishes. As long as luck stays on our side, you’ll see us run up front.

“We’ll get there. I’m getting better, too. Each race, getting used to these cars and working with our guys.”

One of those guys is Team President, Chris Rice. The longtime Kaulig man was cheerful postrace, sitting on the pit wall with Williams to discuss how the wild night came to a happy end.

Seeing his first-year driver score the team’s best result of the night, as a day long in the making.

“Mainly for Josh, going through the adversity he’s went through in the beginning of the year — learning these racecars, it’s not that easy to learn these cars,” Rice said. “He’s gonna keep working, keep getting better.

“It means a lot for Kaulig Racing. We… we’re pretty down-and-out right now. Everybody — the No. 16 car [AJ Allmendinger] getting knocked out early. But Josh coming back for a top 10 and SVG man! He just impresses me lap after lap, it’s just crazy how well he does.”

Entering the weekend 27th in points, Williams joins teammates Allmendinger and Gisbergen as behind the eight ball, with only one top-five finish through seven races. Rice knows something needs to start changing to turn Williams’ season around toward the summer stretch.

“We’re pretty down,” Rice stated. “I had a meeting on Wednesday and we talked about pulling the rope. And I think right now, we have to pull the rope tough. We got to get everybody behind us and we got to keep our heads up, keep smiling.

“We know what to do. Everybody in Welcome [North Carolina] right now is not fast. I think we have to go find some speed in the BBQ capital of the world in Welcome. If we can do that, I think we’ll be good.”

Indeed, with back-to-back top-12 finishes, Williams and crew next enter Texas Motor Speedway in hopes of turning postrace smiles into a weekly tradition.

“We’re gonna live on this top 10,” Rice said. “I think that gets us back in the top 30 in points so we don’t have to worry about making the races now! We’re just looking toward what we can do in Texas.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *